Welcome to the Final Four Roundtable! We are down to the final four panelists as well, as Earl “Syracuse” Brewster, Archie “Michigan” Williams and Bill “Wichita” GoLamb join David “UNC” Snipes to break down the final weekend, and even talk Rutgers.
1. Should the ACC be proud that they are getting 2 Final Four Programs or concerned of their finish in the tourney?
Bill: I think the ACC should be fine with the fact they have any team representing their conference at all. This year has been somewhat wild, so any representation as to none is a bonus.
EJ: Technically the Big East have 2 Final Four programs this season, but Syracuse will be in the ACC as of July 1, 2013 and Louisville will join the ACC on July 1,2014. So, should the ACC be happy at receiving two future Final Four teams? Yes, of course. Any conference that will add the names Pitino, and Boeheim to what is already a stacked conference should be happy.
Archie: Personally, first off, I feel the ACC got disrespected and got screwed on the seeding. There is NO WAY the top 2 seed should have been in the TOP 1 Seed bracket.
David: It can only be a good thing for the ACC. True its bad that both Duke and Miami lost early, but they have to be happy they didn’t go after Rutgers as well.
Bill: It’s hard to say what’s going on this year, but I’m leaning more on the side of parity. One can never tell as to how any result will turn out unless the games are played and this year is no different. Who would have thought FGCU would do to much more heavily favored teams what they did? What about Wichita State? Programs are getting progressively better over time and can more easily compete with the more top flight schools given the pool of talent available. Not everyone has everything it takes to attend some of the more prestigious programs since education is still a requirement.
EJ: This was a season where no team really held down the #1 spot. However, I do think parity is here. There are good coaches at every level, players that may have been overlooked in high school that are shining on all levels, and thanks to the advancements in media which allows for more teams to be seen worldwide, the top players no longer have to go to the Duke’s, North Carolina’s, and UCLA’s of the world. Things are a little more spread out and that unpredictability is good for the game.
Archie: I do believe that there is a parity at the college level more in today’s games than there ever has been. However, I do believe his year is a fluke. History and the “Cream of the Crop” will rise back to dominance. Remember as well, all four #1’s have made the final four only once in the history of the tournament and every year there is that Cinderella story everyone watches for.
David: I think is the way its going to be, I think with the reality that a single good player can cost or earn you a round, and a great player is worth a weekend, its going to be harder and harder for teams to keep returning to the sweet sixteen year in and year out.
3. Should the NCAA be visiting Rutgers?
Bill: Without a doubt. While I am writing this, I just saw that Mike Rice was fired. It comes as a surprise that nothing came about the events that were recently leaked to the public much sooner. To be honest, it’s also a shocker that someone didn’t beat his ass for some of the things he’s been reported as doing. Despite the fact that the players under his tutelage are essentially kids, they’re still grown men and he’s lucky none of them handed out a beating. Hit me with a ball on purpose and thrown over the shoulder like a dodge ball? Yeah, dude… it’s ON.
EJ: Mike Rice was fired and with good reason. There is no need in the game for his hurling of basketballs, and his use of disgusting language. There’s a way to motivate your players and that was not the way. It’s clear that wasn’t the way, because all you had to do was look at the record of Mike Rice at Rutgers. Mike Rice is very lucky that one of those players he hurled basketballs at didn’t throw it back at him. I’ll speak for myself: I’m a guy that goes out of my way to avoid conflict but even I would have gone Sprewell on his ass if he did that to me.
Archie: Okay call me old school if you want but the NCAA should stay the hell out of this. The school took care of it, even though they were tardy they still fired his ass. Just like Bobby Knight got fired and many before him. But the question was, Should the NCAA be visiting Rutgers and my answer is NO, STAY out of it. The Language part is bad but come on, its not like these kids don’t use the same crap once he walks out of the room. I have just about every major Coach with a winning record use the same language. You don’t hear anyone bad mouthing Vince Lombardi………….jk
David: The AD should be fired, and that should be the end of it. If you SAW the tape, and you let him keep his job, you lose yours, plain and simple.
4. Only 1 top 10 teams made the final four, is this good or bad for a sport fighting to make its regular season matter?
Bill: Good. Again, it goes back to parity and a more diverse and interesting league. If it’s just the same 10 teams every season, it gets old. People like to cheer for the underdog. Besides, it gives those smaller schools more recognition for their programs and that can’t hurt.
EJ: Bill’s right. It’s a good thing. I like parity. I like the upsets so I’m all in favor of it.
Archie: I really don’t see that it matters. The AP, UPI and Coaches all have their polls and for the most part they agree but there is only one thing that matters when the buzzer sounds to take the floor and that’s play ball. But even with all the upsets this year, we still have yet to see a #1 go down in the first round. So the regular season ranking DO still matter.
David: Just shows how meaningless the regular season is, and how tough a one-and-done tourney is.
Bill: Louisville/Syracuse. While what happened to Kevin Ware was huge, I don’t see it stopping Coach Pitino getting another feather to put in his cap and his school a championship trophy for their case. Michigan is a compelling pick, but I don’t see them getting past a solid Orange team.
EJ: I’m inclined to say Michigan because I really do like the Wolverines, but I’ll go with Louisville. Losing Kevin Ware was huge physically, but I do think the Cardinals will turn that into emotion and go out there and win the title for him.
Archie: I’m no prognosticator, my bracket reveals that. I have no team left in the final four show down. With that said, and having watched part of every single game played, I like the consistency of Louisville. They and Duke were two points apart when Ware went down and they blew Duke away after that. They have depth, speed and the consistency to get it done.
David: I’m gonna be honest. I don’t care. I would have to say the Pitinites, so that just hurts. I don’t like him, but they should win. F* you.
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